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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Helping you secure the career you deserve

Iy is hard to believe another year is under way; the perfect time for a fresh start. Gym memberships, diets, the promise to spend more quality time with friends and loved ones and many other resolutions are approached with gusto in this month. At least for a while.

What if your New Year’s resolution was one that turned from an idle whim to a real money-saving (or money-making) enterprise? A recent Guardian article pointed to a marked increase in the take-up of short courses as people were supplementing their income by learning skills such as dressmaking or digital photography, or boosting their CV with business techniques.

We have a wave of new courses, both short courses and distance learning that could offer potential revenue streams, whether you take up some of the DIY focused courses that help you save money on the little jobs around the house, or a distance learning course on dog grooming which could lead to a new career. Something to think about when you break your diet finishing off the Quality Street!

This year should prove to be an interesting one for education as the recommendations from the Wolf report reach their final stages before implementation and look to change the vocational qualifications available for year nine pupils.

Finally the first cohort of higher education students paying the fees will start their courses this October. This year we are charging well under the £9,000 limit. We have increased the amount of HNCs and HNDs on offer for a number of reasons: they are good value for money, completed more quickly than foundation degrees and offer the same level of education, and are well recognised by employers.

Although there is a great deal of change ahead, there are some exciting developments ahead for the county, not least the start of the construction skills centre. Now the contractor has been announced, work will soon get underway and I for one will look forward to seeing that go up over the next few months. It is a real coup for the area and hopefully will strengthen West Cumbria’s position in the environmental and energy market.

So, what will Lakes College look like over the next 12 months, apart from a partial building site? Well, we are strengthening our partnerships across the county, so we can offer exciting and beneficial schemes like the Copeland and Coalfields Apprenticeship programme that benefited 80 local students and 75 local employers. Work like this can only come from strong partnerships working to achieve the same goal.

In the next 12 months we will be working hard with the JobCentre and Next Steps adult careers service to give local people the opportunities they need to secure a career they deserve.

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